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Shaping the Future of Mobile

The Symbian Foundation today revealed that ideas submitted to the Symbian Ideas web site are already being realised as platform enhancements and innovative applications.

The Symbian Ideas web site (http://ideas.symbian.org) is integral to Symbian as an open organisation and an open platform. Now anyone can propose an idea for enhancing the Symbian mobile experience, however large or small. Through the web site, Symbian and its community can debate the usefulness of each idea and cast votes to select the most-needed and desirable ideas for implementation by developers from within the community.

“The Symbian Ideas web site is the focal point of a three-way conversation between users, developers and the foundation. It provides developers and device creators with the opportunity to create applications that meet consumers’ express wishes, to make improvements to the world’s market-leading smartphone platform, and to contribute features that will influence the platform roadmap and may run on more than a billion devices in years to come,” said Lee M. Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation.

He continued, “As a consumer, if there’s something about your mobile you don’t like, you can change it. We’re encouraging absolutely anyone who owns a mobile device to get involved at the Symbian Ideas web site, by sharing your ideas, and discussing and refining them with the developers who will ultimately implement them. Symbian Ideas is our invitation to you to participate in and define the future of mobile.”

Close to 1000 ideas have been submitted from around the globe to the Symbian Ideas web site since its launch in October 2009. Thirty-three of these have since been approved by the community and are being matched with an individual or company to develop and contribute the code for the new or enhanced platform features or applications.

Some of the ideas that will be realised as new Symbian platform features include:

  • The functionality to paint using the Image Editor is being developed by Ixonos, a foundation member, and will be available in Symbian^3, the latest version of the platform that will be “feature complete” by the end of Q1.
  • The ability to change the default browser on your device will be available in Symbian^4, thanks to a contribution from Opera.
  • Users will be able to synch their Facebook contacts with those on their phone in Symbian^4, thanks to a contribution from Nokia.
  • The ability to pause music when headphones are disconnected from the device, an update realised by Nokia and will available in Symbian^3.

“The idea of providing consumers with the ability to use ‘paint’ to edit the photos they take on their Symbian devices was submitted to the Symbian Ideas web site by Mikael Laine,” said Panu Kause, Director of Partnerships and Innovation at Ixonos. “Mikael only recently took over the ownership of the Image Editor package and so we’re truly excited to have contributed not just the idea but the actual code for this fun feature.

“Symbian Ideas is an integral part of the future of the open source Symbian platform, listening to what its community wants from future devices and apps and then acting on it, which is why we volunteered to bring this particular idea to fruition.”

Symbian applications that are under development as a result of ideas submitted to Symbian Ideas include:

  • “Carbonfund”, a mobile CO2 calculator which calculates your carbon footprint and allows you to offset it using PayPal. Developed by OpenPath Products in collaboration with Carbonfund.org and Open Mobile Solutions, this will be demoed at Mobile World Congress and the application will be available to consumers soon.
  • A Wikipedia widget to help you access Wikipedia from your mobile both quickly and with ease. Developed by Ivan Litovski of the Symbian Foundation, this application is now available for free from Symbian Horizon (http://horizon.symbian.org).

“Carbonfund is a unique application that will appeal to all those who are concerned about their impact on the environment. Open Mobile Solutions is excited to have worked with OpenPath Products, Carbonfund.org and the Symbian Foundation to bring this idea to life for consumers across the globe for use in their daily lives,” said Jai Jaisimha, CEO of Open Mobile Solutions. “Matching consumers’ ideas with the highly-qualified developers that can make them a reality has been a great experience. We are now looking forward to using our expertise to develop other ideas in the future.”

Symbian expects increasing numbers of user-inspired applications and features present on the Symbian platform in future releases. There are thousands of developers already developing Symbian code; they now have the opportunity to tap the insight of users into what is effective and valuable on a mobile device.

About Symbian Foundation

The Symbian Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to enable an open ecosystem dedicated to creating the most innovative user experiences on mobile devices. Symbian maintains the code for an open source software platform based on Symbian OS and software assets contributed by Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, and Sony Ericsson, including the S60 and MOAP(S) user interfaces. The Symbian platform is now fully open source.

The foundation promotes collaboration, contributions and active participation, and operates as a meritocracy. Symbian's board of directors comprises: AT&T Mobility LLC, Fujitsu Limited, Nokia Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, INC., Qualcomm Innovation Center, Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, ST Microelectronics NV, Texas Instruments Inc., and Vodafone Group Services Ltd.

The Symbian Foundation has offices in the UK (London), US (Foster City), Japan (Tokyo), Finland (Helsinki), China (Beijing) and South Korea (Seoul).

For more information please visit www.symbian.org and blog.symbian.org.

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